Current Postings

The postings below are all still active, and organized by deadline. Once the deadline has passed, they will be moved to the IABA Posting Archive, on the CBR Webpage

Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly
Volume 42, Number 1, 2019
International Year in Review

The International Year in Review is a collection of short, site-specific essays on the year’s most influential publications in life writing. This year’s collection includes entries from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Estonia, France, the Gulf Cooperation Council, India, Italy, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, South Africa, Spain, the UK, and two essays from the US, one on biography and one on memoir.

Essays as Life Writing: The Year in Australia
Kylie Cardell

The Tercentenary of Maria Theresa (1717–1780): The Year in Austria and Germany
Tobias Heinrich

The Brazilian “I/Eye” at the IABA Global Conference: The Year in Brazil
Sergio da Silva Barcellos

Musicians’ Lives and National Identity: The Year in Canada
Alana Bell

Independent Biographical Documentaries: The Year in China
Chen Shen

Testigo de barbarie y resistencia: El año en Colombia
Gabriel Jaime Murillo-Arango

Life Writing’s Coming of Age: The Year in Estonia
Leena Kurvet-Käosaar and Maarja Hollo

The Ghosts of World War II: The Year in France
Joanny Moulin

Selves and Identities in the Arabian Gulf: The Year in the Gulf Cooperation Council
Szidonia Haragos

What the Stars Tell: The Year in India
Pramod K. Nayar

Biographies from the Alps to Capri: The Year in Italy
Ilaria Serra

Emergent Subjectivities: The Year in Korea
Heui-Yung Park

Archiving the Political, Narrating the Personal: The Year in Lebanon
Sleiman El Hajj

Politics and Violence: The Year in Mexico
Gerardo Necoechea Gracia

Mediators as the Subject of Dutch Biography: The Year in the Netherlands
Hans Renders and David Veltman

Voices against Erasure, Loss, and Dehumanization: The Year in Palestine
Adam Yaghi

A Time of Great Biographies—Gombrowicz and Herbert: The Year in Poland
Paweł Rodak

“No Coward Soul is Mine”: The Year in Portugal
Cláudia Faria

Auto/Biography After Disaster: The Year in Puerto Rico
Ricia Anne Chansky

Cultural Figures and the Biographical Turn: The Year in Romania
Ioana Luca

“Born-Frees” on South Africa’s Memory Traps: The Year in South Africa
Nick Mdika Tembo

Auto/Biography and Conflict: The Year in Spain
Ana Belén Martínez García

“The necessary disloyalty”: The Year in the UK
Tom Overton

#MeToo and the Memoir Boom: The Year in the US
Leigh Gilmore

American Biography: The Year in the US
Carl Rollyson

Annual Bibliography of Works about Life Writing, 2017–2018
Compiled by Aiko Yamashiro


The Book of Sarah
by Sarah Lightman 
(Myriad Editions and Penn State University Press)
The Book of Sarah is missing from the bible, so artist Sarah Lightman sets out to make her own: questioning religion, family, motherhood and what it takes to be an artist in this quietly subversive visual autobiography from NW3.
Drawings of an imaginary Hampstead bible, a baby monitor,  the local landscape of Ellerdale Road and the outside of St Paul’s Girls’ School: books and streets, buildings and objects fill this bildungsroman set in North West London. Sarah Lightman has been drawing her life since she was a 22-year-old undergraduate at The Slade School of Art. The Book of Sarah traces her journey from modern Jewish orthodoxy to a feminist Judaism, as she searches between the complex layers of family and family history that she inherited and inhabited. While the act of drawing came easily, the letting go of past failures, attachments and expectations did not. It is these that form the focus of Sarah’s astonishingly beautiful pages, as we bear witness to her making the world her own.
Praise for The Book of Sarah
“So many of us are given an identity by our tribes and families that doesn’t quite fit for us and it is quite hard sometimes to find our way to who we want to be and how we want to live. This courageous graphic memoir will resonate with anyone who has grappled with this, or wants to.”
Philippa Perry
“In Lightman’s skillfully layered visual memoir, the biblical matriarch is summoned “out of the shadows” by her namesake. She is given renewed voice, reanimated and heard through Lightman’s own story.”
Victoria Aarons, Trinity University
“Through a delicate interweaving of images (ranging from the architectural, loose outlines, fractured repetitions and empty spaces) and text, the reader becomes immersed in this deeply considered reflection of gender and cultural identity. In its spirit of perpetual enquiry, it is an intensely Jewish book; but the questions it asks, about being and belonging, speak to the wider concerns of twenty-first century life.”
Ruth Gilbert, University of Winchester
“I love The Book of Sarah. This is a deeply layered work, from the elegant, evocative writing to the diverse range of materials—charcoal, oil paint, and watercolor as well as graphite pencil. The Book of Sarah is a memoir that is rich with revelations for the reader to uncover.”
Samantha Baskind, Cleveland State University
“An astounding work of insight and clarity, so eloquently expressed, especially the family’s long-standing tradition of stifling ambition, autonomy and independence – thereby thwarting so much potential – that it almost broke me.  It will resonate with so many, helping to show them that they’re not alone.”
Stephen Holland, Page 45

Journal of Modern Life Writing Studies
No.12, Spring 2019
Center for Life Writing, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Special Section: Interview
The Biographer’s Art: Interview with Richard Holmes……Tang Xiumin
Special Section: The Study of Shen Congwen’s Life Writing
The Affectionate Paintings: On Shen Congwen’s Letters in His Later Years…….Liang Qingbiao
Living beyond the Suffering by Constructing the Self: The Selection in the Writing of Congwen’sAutobiography……..Ding Qianhan
Theory Studies
Experimenting on Biography:The Poetic History and Artistic Reality in Nabokov’s Literary Biography……..Jia Ying
The Generic Dilemma and Breakthrough: Taking David Lodge’s Biographical Novels as an Example…….Cai Zhiquan
Peritexts in David Lodge’s Author, Author, and A Man of Parts: From the Perspective of Genette’s Theory of Paratexts ……..Chen Wenyu
Perfect Autobiography……..Mao Xu
Comparative Biography
Into the Complex Soul: Features of Su Manshu Biography……..Mu Jiangwei
Text Studies
Biography As Travel Writing:A Study of George Morrison’s An Australian in China
  ………Zhang Wenru  Cui Yaxiao
The Identity Discourses in Lisa See’s Family Memoir On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival………Chu Fumin
TheLife Narrative Examined from the Perspective of Space Theory:The Case of Fang Wei’s A Biography of Wang Xiaobo……..Wang Buxin
History of Life Writing
On the Contribution of the Periodicals in the Republican Period to Chinese Modern Biography ………Chen Hanying  Yu Yang  Yu Zhanghua
The May Fourth New Culture Movement and Chinese Modern Biography……..Xu Jingpin
“Literature of Necessity”: On the Utility of the African Slave Narrative…….Zheng Chunguang
The Relationship between the Sage Biography and the Local Chronicles……..Li He
Subject Study
42, a Fatal Age: A New Clue to the Enigma of Gogol…….Xu Xiaoyu
Book Review
The Princess’s Diary and the Princess Diarist: A Review of The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher……..Li Xiaolong Wang Mengjie
Film Biography
Looking at Film Biography from the Perspective of Performance Framework…..Zhou Qianwen
Female Intellectuals’ Media Writing in Feminist Films:A Comparative Studyof theHannah Arendt andThe Golden Era……Yang Shihua()
Academic Info
2018 Life Writing Workshop: A Dialogue among the Biographer, the Scholar and the Reader: A Report……Shao Yi
Instructions to Contributors
From the Editor

Instructions to Contributors

Life writing studies have moved onto the central stage in the academia and gained ever more attention both in and outside China. As the first scholarly journal in the field of China, the biannual journal Modern Life Writing Studies intends to fill up the blank of life writing studies in China, provide a venue for scholars all over the world, attract and promote specialists in the field.
Aiming to keep abreast of the cutting edge of life writing research, Our journal seeks to, in modern views and perspectives, explore various topics of life writing in China and in the world, with almost 20 sections included, such as Interview, Comparative Biography, Theory Study, History of Life Writing, Text Study, Autobiography Study, Diary Study, Subject Study, Film Biography, Book Reviews, Life Writing Materials, From the Life Writer, etc.
Ever since its appearance in 2013, our journal has been well-received by scholars at home and abroad and fundedby a steady grant from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. It is exerting increasingly greater influence in academia with a due wide positive response. In 2017, our journal was included in CSSCI (Chinese Social Science Citation Index), and listed in the international academic literature or included in the annual annotated bibliography by world prestigious universities.
Our journal accepts both Chinese and English submissions. All the articles will be subject to anonymous peer review.

Submissions are welcome from both Chinese and international researchers. Simultaneous submissions are not accepted. English papers should be between 4,000 and 7,000 words of text in length (including notes), while English book reviews are about 2,500 words. Full-length articles take up most part of the journal, but short essays with originality and fresh ideas are also welcome.

Submission Guidelines
All written submissions should be formatted according to the eighth edition of MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. All submissions should include a 100-word abstract both in Chinese and English, keywords (less than 5), a 70–word biographical statement, and works cited. Please adhere to the following requirements:
•   Double spacing, Times New Roman, 12–point font
•   One-inch margins
•   Only Microsoft Word doc or docx files will be accepted
•  Citations should be provided in parenthetical reference followed by “Works Cited”.
•  Endnotes are preferred if there are any.

Submissions should be emailed in Word format to the editor Each contributor will get two complimentary copies once his/her paper is published.

Our journal is based at SJTU Center for Life Writing. We welcome suggestions and proposals, from which we believe our journal will surely benefit.

From the Editor
–To Our Young Contributors

This issue features an interview with the British biographer Richard Holmes, who is highly esteemed not merely in Europe and America, but also enjoys wide reputation in China for his biographies of Romanticists, notably Shelley, and scientists and his theoretical works on biography. As a professor of Biographical Studies, he excels in summarizing his rich writing experience, as demonstrated in the interview. For instance, “Good biographies…are obviously so varied in style, approach and temperament that it would be difficult to define any essential common ground between them. Nonetheless, I think the ability to fall in love with your subject, and out of love again where necessary, is probably fundamental to the writer of any good biography.” This calls our attention to the very key of biographical writing.
This issue witnesses the special section “The Study of Shen Congwen’s Life Writing”, which includes two papers. Shen has long remained the focus in the academic community, while the interest in him has extended from his fiction to a great variety of other genres, including his life writing. Liang Qingbiao has conducted a research on Shen’s letters after 1949, dubbing them as “the affectionate paintings.” Through the analysis of the readiness, tranquility and thoughts in them and the perception of the “tender beauty of his soul ,” Liang produces a role model in an aesthetic research on autobiography. Based on the knowledge of Shen’s works, Ding Qianhan identifies Shen’s selection of both his adolescent images and his experience periods in the autobiography through a perusal of the first edition of Congwen’s Autobiography and the comparison with the works before and after it. This is attributed to “living beyond the suffering by Self-construction” through her exploration of Shen’s spiritual world.
All the four papers in Theory Study are concerned with the innovation to auto/biography. Since the origins of modern biography, efforts have been constantly made to break free of fetters of conventional boundaries and to establish new forms. For example, the Russian American writer Vladimir Nabokov breaks biography conventions which tend to be prosaic style and linear narration, integrates different genres into the text,interpret the subject’s life or explore his/her mind with the subject’s work. With four of his works of different types, Jia Ying conducts an in-depth analysis of Nabokov’s concepts on truth, history, and his biographical pursuit.
Since the publication of Orlando by Virginia Woolf in 1928, some Anglo-American authors have made every efforts to integrate biography with novels for over a century. Biographical novel is a genre of major influence in recent years, typified by David Lodge’s Author, Author, and A Man of Parts. Two papers focus on the two works. Cai Zhiquan argues that the biographical novel embodies the elements of biography, novel and literary criticism and crosses non-fiction, fiction and literary research. He suggests that this genre enjoys equal status to biography and is a new pattern of life writing. Chen Wenyu analyzes the peritexts in the two biographical novels and discovers that they reduce the distance between the author and the reader. These two papers are complementary to each other.
When it comes to the field of autobiography, Mao Xu designs a “perfect” autobiographical structure, i.e. Perfect Autobiography to regulate the autobiographical form. The Structuralist approach to autobiography in late 20th century is based on the discovery of various models. Mao employs three-act movie theory to propose the model of “well-made auto/biography.” The term “well-made” is borrowed from drama theory of western Europe in the 19th century. Can it be transplanted to autobiography? Mao only puts forward his hypothesis and this value lies not in practical terms but in thought-provoking effect, as does Structuralism for the generic models it designs.
In History of Life Writing, two of the four papers focus on Chinese modern life writing, a hot researchfield. Few researchers are, however, interested in biography in periodicals in China’s Republican Period. “On the Contribution of the Periodicals in the Republican Period to Chinese Modern Biography” is a brilliant paper coauthored by Chen Hanying, Yu Yang and Yu Zhanghua, who refer to a great number of Republican periodicals for a vast collection of biographical works and data. Their painstaking collation, assortment and comments have injected new momentum into the research on Chinese modern life-writing history. Xu Jingpin examines the development of Chinese modern biography and concludes that it is an echo of and a tribute to the New Cultural Movement. The May Fourth New Cultural Movement exerted profound impact on Chinese modern biography in terms of themes, content and literary forms. Meanwhile, the appearance of modern biography was also a driving force to the spread of literary revolution and promoted the top-down cultural enlightenment. The two papers materialize a better understanding of Chinese modern life writing on a micro and a macro scale respectively.
Through his research on African slave narrative, a special sub-genre in the history of American life writing, Zheng Chunguang identifies it as a literature of necessity, which plays an essential role in the history and real life of African Americans. Li He explores the “sage biography” in ancient China and argues that they are not the equivalent of the chronicles despite all the connections and similarities. The two papers alert readers to the fact that many fields and details are still neglected in the study of life-writing history.
The three papers in Text Study are conducive to the reading and interpretation of three influential biographies. George Morrison’s An Australian in China documents his travel in China in 1894. Through an analysis of Morrison’s writing approach of “biography as travel writing,” the paper co-authored by Zhang Wenru and Cuiyaxiao argue that the author focuses on people rather than the scenery and holds no biases but writes about whatever he saw in an objective way. The success of this travel writing has not only reversed his fate but leaves his imprint on history. Chu Fumin’s paper on On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival examines Chinese Americans’ appeal in ethnicity, politics and gender from the perspective of the biographer’s identity discourses. Wang Buxin’s analysis of Fang Wei’s A Biography of Wang Xiaobo restores the biographer’s writing mode in different cultural spaces to improve our understanding of Wang Xiaobo.
In the section of “Subject Study,” Xu Xiaoyu’s “42, a Fatal Age” is an interesting paper, in which he discovers that Gogol die at the age of 42, recurring in three of his works. From this new clue to solve “the enigma of Gogol,” Xu discovers that it is associated with such themes as love and marriage in Gogol’s works and reveals the sexual psychology in his unconsciousness. This conclusion may be controversial, but Xu is well versed in close reading, reminding us of what is advocated by Leon Edel the great biographer, “The method I am proposing for biography is related to the methods of Sherlock Holmes and also to those of Sigmund Freud.”
There are also a few other intriguing papers. In the section of “Comparative Biography,” Mu Jiangwei’s “Into the Complex Soul” conducts a comparative research on over 30 Su Manshu biographies and highlights the complex character of the poet subject whose singularity is most distinctive. The section of “Book Review” meets an essay co-authored by Li Xiaolong and Wang Mengjie who review Carrie Fisher’s autobiography from the perspective of the translation of the book’s title, i.e. the princess’s diary or the princess diarist. The buildungsroman theme is commented in a succinct and refreshing style.
Two papers are concerned with film biography. Zhou Qianwen employs the “performance framework” to examine the shift from textuality to performance, while Yang Shihua compares two film biographies of female subjects respectively directed by two female film makers from China and Germany. He reveals the differences in material selection, narration, form and content. Both papers arrive at the theory based on the analysis of a specific text.
“Life Writing Workshop: A Dialogue among the Biographer, the Scholar and the Reader” was co-hosted in Nanjing by Shanghai Jiao Tong Universityt Center for Life Writing, and Nanjing University of Finance and Economics at the end of 2018. Shao Yi provides a detailed coverage on this workshop in the section of “Academic Info.” Any of your advice concerning our future workshops is welcome and highly valued.

Ever since our journal was founded, the body of our contributors has undergone a fundamental change. The percentage of young contributors, particularly doctoral candidates, is continually on the rise and reaches up to nearly a half. Therefore, we would like to deliver a few words to young scholars:
You are welcome to contribute to our journal, young friends! As a young discipline, life writing studies provides an open arena for you to bring your potentials into full play. You have brought new blood to our journal, as well as new momentum, topics, concepts and perspectives. Your papers are highly appreciated.
Nonetheless, we have two suggestions to you. Up till now the vast majority of submissions from young scholars address literary biography. It is true that modern biography finds its origins in literary biography, e.g. autobiography of Yu Dafu, Shen Congwen, Hu Shi and Guo Moruo in China and Boswell’s Life of Johnson and The Confessions of Jean Jacques Rousseau in the West. To the extent that literary biography is an essential sub-genre of life writing and it has no much difficulty to access to the writers’s materials, it is understandably easy to research on the genre. But We must also remeber that biography enjoys a broad range and large varieties. Take the example of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, a great number of winners and finalists owe their success to their biography of heavy-weight historical figures and historical biographies seem to be most applauded by readers. It is universally acknowledged that life writing can never be amputated from its context and life writing studies are no intelligence games in the ivory tower. Hence, we support your research on excellent literary biography, but it is more desirable to expand your horizons.
Our journal advocates a rigorous and truth-seeking style of writing. We are expecting to see submissions in compliance with academic standards, free of minor errors in such fields as abstract, keywords, translation, length of quotes and full text, coherence, etc. These standards are not difficult to meet with. Improvement in these respects will mean less unnecessary burden on the part of the journal and more chance for the acceptanc of your paper. Thank you!

January, 2019

Deadline for Submissions June 10, 2019

Travel and Literature session: 20th and 21st century travel writing (6/10/2019; 11/14-17) San Diego USA–PAMLA 2019

The travel and literature session welcomes proposals focused on travel, odyssey and mobility through a literary lens, with a special interest in 20th- 21st century travel writing.

We are particularly interested in papers that take into consideration travel writing by authors better known for other forms of writing (novelists, poets, philosophers, essayists) and for whom travel, and travel writing, serve as a means to veer from their habitual modes of writing and allow them to experiment with another form (Baudrillard’s Cool memories, Barthes’ Empire of signs, Leiris’ Phantom Africa are examples of travel narratives of interest).

Topics may include:

  • Theories of travel and travel writing
  • The poetics of travel
  • Travel writing and the self/other
  • Travel writing and ecocriticism
  • Travel journalism, guidebooks and digital media
  • Travel writing and anthropology

Please submit a 300 word abstract and a short bio directly on the PAMLA webiste at by June 10th, 2019. You can also contact Cécile Ruel ( Access the conference website at

PAMLA’s 117thannual conference will be held in San Diego, CA from Thursday, November 14 until Sunday, November 17, at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside hotel.

Deadline for Submissions June 14, 2019

Diva: Hip-Hop, Feminism, Fierceness (6/14/20109; 7/17/2019) UK

The shift from the margins to the mainstream has occurred simultaneously, over the last few decades, for two groups that now jointly exert a central influence over contemporary culture and politics: female r’n’b and hip-hop artists, and feminist thinkers and activists. The coming together of these two groups and sensibilities has redefined contemporary popular music (in all senses of musics of black origin), and wider culture and politics, in the West – from the banlieues to the White House, from Black Lives Matter to #MeToo, from Betty Davis to Neneh Cherry, TLC to Aaliyah, Alicia Keys to Iggy Azalea, Beyonce to Ariana Grande, and all points in between.

The symposium will seek to address this ongoing development, within the scope of exploring the origins of this shift, its resultant successes and failures, its social activism and relationship to “Black Capitalism”, its identity politics and LGBTQ+ components, its saints and sinners and controversies old and new, and its oppositions to, and recuperations by, the establishment, in African-American and Afro-European contexts, and beyond.

The symposium will culminate with a rare opportunity to view the documentary “Aaliyah Live in Amsterdam”, introduced (and with a Q&A) by its director, Dr. Pogus Caesar: “In 1995, Windrush Productions gained exclusive access to the Amsterdam leg of Aaliyah’s European tour. As well as capturing live footage of the concert, Aaliyah and her late father agreed to be interviewed, in a series of intimate conversations, they speak openly about her musical influences, achievements hopes and dreams. The film captures a star in their ascendancy. As the story unfolds it provides fans with a rare insight into Aaliyah, and leaves us wondering how much she would have achieved had her life not been tragically cut short.” Trailer:

The symposium will open with a keynote lecture by Dr. Kirsty Fairclough (Associate Dean, Research & Innovation, Schools of Arts & Media, University of Salford): “I Slay: Beyonce as Intersectional Feminist, Activist and Diva”.

Information on further invited guests, and booking details, to follow.

Proposals for presentations (individual and panel) and interventions should be emailed to Dr Benjamin Halligan ( by 14 June 2019. (Word format, 200-300 words, minimal formatting, including biog note and contact information). Areas to be considered can include (but are not limited to) all music-related matters identified above, the evolution of the figure of the diva, trans cultures and fierceness and diva-ism, media around diva superstars (documentaries, tabloid exposes, MTV and post-MTV music videos, star identity formations, intimacy and interviews), confessions and hagiographies, and all other cultural practices that resonate with this development (fine arts, poetry and literature, DJ cultures and dance, film and television), and the protean nature of feminism, and black feminism, and second to third waves of feminism, that have arisen.

The symposium, which is hosted by the Centre for Film, Media, Discourse & Culture, University of Wolverhampton, will run on 17 July 2019. The registration fee will be £30 (£15 for unwaged, free for all postgraduate researchers). A limited budget is available to reimburse childcare costs, upon application, if that will enable attendance: please enquire. The full programme, and booking details, will be published by 24 June 2019.

For updates, fuller details, and booking, please see

Deadline for Submissions June 14, 2019
The People of Print: Printers, Stationers, and Booksellers, c. 1500-1830 (6/14/2019; 9/12-14/2019) Sheffield, UK

The editors of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies are delighted to announce that the special issue 34.1, “Trans Narratives,” has now been published digitally with print copies to follow next month. To receive a/b by individual subscription, please email A print and digital subscription, including full access to all archives, is $35USD. Enjoy!

Deadline for Submissions June 15, 2019

Veterans: Enduring, Surviving, and Remembering War

An International Conference

12-13 September 2019

U.S. Naval War College

In 2018, the University of Massachusetts Press launched “Veterans,” the first academic book series devoted to the postwar lives of military personnel and the enduring human consequences of war. To celebrate its launch, series editors Brian Matthew Jordan and J. Ross Dancy invite individual paper and full panel proposals for a two-day conference, to be hosted by the U.S. Naval War College, exploring veterans in history. In keeping with the goals of the series, the conference aims to build connections and foster conversations between disparate historiographies. As such, we invite historians who work on any time period or conflict to submit proposals. Paper and panel topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Veterans as custodians of historical memory
  • Veterans as historians, relic collectors, and autobiographers
  • Veterans and their struggles for benefits and recognition
  • Medical and disability histories of veterans
  • Veterans and politics
  • Transitions to peacetime and civilian life
  • Veterans and posttraumatic growth
  • Veterans’ fraternal organizations and culture
  • Veterans’ relationships with families and children
  • Veterans’ relationships with other generations of veterans
  • The socioeconomics of veteranhood
  • The experiences of women veterans
  • Veteranhood and race and/or ethnicity
  • Veterans in historical memory
  • Veterans engagement in and relationship to anti-war activism
  • Methodologies for exploring veterans in history

Individual paper or full panel proposals must be submitted by 15 June 2019 and include an abstract of 300 words and one-page curriculum vitae for each presenter. Panel proposals should include a brief statement about the thrust of the session and must include a chair. All proposals including panel proposals should be submitted as single .pdf files.

Submissions and inquiries should be addressed to:
Dr. J. Ross Dancy

Contact Info:

Dr. J. Ross Dancy

Deadline for Submissions June 21, 2019
Herstory Re-Imagined:
Women’s Lives in Biographical Fiction and Film16-17 December 2019
Centre for Life-Writing Research, King’s College London, UK
Convenors: Julia Lajta-Novak (Vienna) and Caitríona Ní Dhúill (Durham)
Call for Papers
How do the lives of historical women become the raw material of novelists and filmmakers? This conference addresses the current boom in biographical novels and biopics about women’s lives, encompassing a broad conception of ‘woman’ that includes queer and trans life narratives. Figures as diverse as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, poet Sylvia Plath, surgeon James Miranda Barry, painter Artemisia Gentileschi, and actress Jiang Qing are the subjects of fictions in various formats and degrees of literary ambition, while pilot Amelia Earhart, stateswoman Margaret Thatcher, blues singer Bessie Smith, and first lady Jackie Kennedy – to name just a very few – have been prominently re-imagined on the silver screen. The conference examines the contemporary repackaging of historical women’s lives in narrative genres, exploring possible connections and tensions between these stories and earlier feminist perspectives on ‘herstory’ and women’s (in)visibility.Scholars of biofiction and film have drawn attention to the ways in which biographical novels and biopics are implicated in the construction of female subjectivity, while the field of life-writing research has seen a rise of interest in questions of gender identity. This conference aims to bring studies of biofiction and biopics into close dialogue with gender-sensitive approaches to biography, so as to shed light on the interactions between life writing, fiction, and dynamics of gender. We are particularly interested in papers that rigorously consider the theoretical questions at the heart of this conference: How do fictions and films about historical women relate to, or challenge, existing theories of women’s biography or gender-sensitive approaches to life writing? What common parameters are available to narrate women’s lives, and how can these be historicised? What does the fictional element contribute to (or subtract from) the image generated of the subject in relation to previous representations? What is the ideological thrust and broader cultural function of these narratives? And how do these re-imagined herstories trouble or confirm the sex-gender systems within and against which they operate?Topics may include, but are by no means limited to, …
  • Notable women in cultural memory: exemplarity and ideological functionalisation of the protagonist/s; if representations of past lives tell us more about views of femininity at the time of their production than in the biographee’s life-time, what need does a novel or film fulfil in its respective present? What narrative/filmic strategies render visible the location of the fiction within a specific culture of gender?
  • Genre and gender: What generic features distinguish biographical or fictional/filmic representations of historical women (plot model, typical features/ motifs/ representational modes)? To what extent do these corroborate or unsettle gendered subject positions? What understandings of life writing, and particularly women’s lives, are encoded in the genres? (e.g. experimental, clichéd, genre fiction, self-reflexive approaches, spot-light approach, collective biography etc.)
  • Postcolonial theory and intersectional approaches: how is the depiction of female subjectivity in biopics/ biographical novels inflected by other categories such as ethnicity, class, or age?
  • Female biopics/ biofiction in the marketplace: the mass-market demand for “real lives”; biofiction/biopics and literary/film awards; biographical fiction and film as media of gendered celebrity culture, commodifying women’s lives for public consumption
  • Reception: What processes of identification are at work in the reception of biofiction/ biopics? How can theories of affect and empathy help to illuminate these? What can reviews of biopics/ biofiction tell us about the discursive construction of gender identity via different modes of reading/ watching biographical fiction and film?

Keynote speakers:Prof. Diana Wallace, University of South WalesDr. Belén Vidal, King’s College London& reading by acclaimed novelist Patricia Duncker

Conference language:English.

Deadline: Please email your proposal (250w) and a brief bio note (80w) to*by 21 June 2019.

Notifications: 23 August 2019.

Selected contributions will be considered for inclusion in a peer-reviewed collection or special journal issue.

* With the submission of your proposal you consent that any data you submit will be saved by the organisers until the end of 2019. Your email will be used for the limited purpose of informing you about updates and news relating to the conference and will not be passed on to any third parties.

Deadline for Submissions June 30, 2019

Call for Papers: The Erasure of Subject: Postmodern Reflections (6/30/2019) Special issue, Language, Literature, and Interdisciplinary Studies

Language, Literature, and Interdisciplinary Studies (LLIDS), an academic journal, invites original and unpublished research papers from scholars on the following:

The Erasure of Subject: Postmodern Reflections

The whole history of social sciences—and even more of natural sciences—could be summed up as the elimination of the concept of the subject. – Alain Tourain

Postmodernist discursions are preoccupied with the creation of incipient epistemologies that would throw into relief tonalities of ruptures existing within human ‘self.’ One tonality within the postmodern requiem of Cartesian subject, a reference point for the world around, finds it a nebulous presence. Here the idea of a disembodied rationality, free from historical contingencies, gets replaced by a persistent enquiry about the possibility of this thinking subject. This narrative about the status of subject pans across different disciplinary spaces where discursive practices engage themselves with reconceptualizing the traditional, metaphysical positioning of the subject as a stable, regulating ‘presence’ imparting meaning to the objective world.

Another key inflection of the human ‘self’ is cued through the idea of post-enlightenment subjectivity, as a subject’s experience of the everyday world, and its encounter with the unknown/unknowable or the unrepresentable. Even though such encounters would finally end in the subject’s resistance to this unknown, they nevertheless provide insights into the nature of human ‘self’ through its shattering, split experiences. This thematic of subject and subjectivity becomes the dominant motif of twentieth century in the West across philosophy, painting (Surrealism, Dadaism, Cubism), popular music (Jazz, Rock, Hip Hop), and literature (modernist and post-modernist fiction and poetry).With different pronounce and objectives this orientation gets reflected in the disciplines of Sociology, Anthropology, Critical Theory, Philosophy, Art, and Literature through the writings of thinkers like Claude Levi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida among others.

Within literature this project finds its footing through deliberations upon ‘forms’ and ‘modes of narration’ of the literary texts. Its articulation through the ‘form’ of literary texts, like the novel, begins as a celebration of freedom from the contingencies of history by the human subject in and through the agency of the picaresque, as the reconstruction of subject in the modernist shift to interiority, and the advent of a deconstructed subject within postmodern narratives. Beginning of this trajectory can be traced from Cervantes, through to the new forms of narratives in Kafka, and finally to the postmodern reconstructions of subject by re-conceptualizing body and mind through, say, Jeanette Winterson’s creation of the female body, Beckett’s experimental bodies, and even Pynchon’s cybernetic organisms.

Modes of narration—non linear time, open ended climax, multiple narratives—too configure and reconfigure the thematic of human subject from diverse perspectives employed within all genres of literature. These modes fork themselves into either foregrounding the fragmented, disjunctive nature of experience of a human subject, or arrive at a lack at the center of human subject itself which fashions it into a de-centered, de-constituted, and diffused being who is a mere effect of ideology or discourse/linguistic system. Such narrative strategies, while actualizing the dissolution of subject, also help reinterpret the fundamental constructs of freedom, morality, and knowledge.

Persistent enquiry into the thematic of the subject, thus undertaken within all disciplines, becomes the common denominator in the possibility of re-thinking any equivocal or delimiting notions about it. Loss of grand narratives of a unitary subject—whether as Cartesian cogito or as Husserlian totalitarian essence of consciousness—leaves postmodern narratives to ponder self-reflexively upon their ability to limn their projections of subject from multiple standpoints, inclusive of the subject’s resistance to its extermination upon reexamining its position as either limited to being an effect of discourse or a mere crossover amidst socio-political forces. Such resistance ensues wonder as to whether there is an irreducible residue of the subject.

Interested scholars can go through the series of sub topics provided to think over the issue without being limited to them:

  • Self as a presence
  • Autonomy of the self
  • Self and consciousness
  • The “Death of man”
  • Anti-humanist philosophy
  • The abandoned subject
  • Metaphysics of presence
  • Disjunctive subject in fiction
  • Body and subjectivity
  • Imagination: a disembodied power
  • Epistemological grounding of the subject
  • Return of the subject
  • Ontological opening of the subject
  • Who comes after the subject?
  • Fractured forms of narrative in literature

Only complete papers will be considered for publication. The papers need to be submitted according to the latest guidelines of the MLA format. You are welcome to submit full length papers (not less than 3500 words) along with a 150 words abstract, list of keywords, bio-note, and word count (in a separate word doc) on or before 30th June, 2019. Please put the name of the CFP you are submitting for in the subject line. Although the authors are free to submit till the deadline, we really appreciate early submissions. Please email your submissions and queries to –

All necessary author guidelines can be found here – (click on the cover at bottom left corner to view the latest issue)


Deadline for Submissions July 15, 2019

The Research Center for Memory Cultures at the Faculty of Polish Studies of the Jagiellonian University and the Yahad – In Unum association kindly invite you to the workshop

Non-Sites of Memory and Their Witnesses: The Testimonies of the Holocaust by Bullets

23 September 2019, Kraków, Faculty of Polish Studies at the Jagiellonian University

More than 2 million Jews and tens of thousands of Roma were killed by German units in the occupied territories of Soviet Union and Poland between 1941 and 1944, in numerous executions across hundreds of villages and towns. This method of murder by special firing squads has come to be known as the “Holocaust by bullets”. The executions took place on the outskirts of human settlements, in fields, woods or swamps, in the view of neighbors, and sometimes with their complicity. Now, most these killing sites are invisible: unmarked and unmemorialized, overgrown and littered, repainted, demolished and repopulated. They are specific non-sites of memory: non-remembered but also unforgotten by the local communities, characterized by an ambiguous, unsettling status.

In order to locate and recognize these sites, we need memory of eyewitnesses to the events that happened there. These witnesses, who are becoming harder and harder to find, have in most cases spent their entire lives next to the killing sites, yet nobody asked them to tell their story. They are our last link to the difficult heritage of the dispersed Shoah.

The Research Center for Memory Cultures at the Faculty of Polish Studies of the Jagiellonian University and the Yahad – In Unum association kindly invite students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs to the one-day workshop dedicated to the non-sites of memory and their witnesses.

The French organization Yahad – In Unum, founded in 2004 in Paris by Father Patrick Desbois, researches the “Holocaust by bullets” in Central and Eastern Europe by collecting video testimonies of the eyewitnesses to the Shoah and identifying the killing sites. Until today, Yahad – In Unum has gathered almost 6,500 accounts and created the biggest collection of Holocaust bystanders’ testimonies.

The Research Center for Memory Cultures – within the research project dedicated to the unmemorialized sites of genocide (supported by the National Program for the Development of Humanities), led by Prof. Roma Sendyka – has researched on sites of this kind and their impact on local communities for three years.

The workshop (held in English) will have an open, seminar-like structure and will engage its participants in work with both archival documents and video testimonies related to killing sites. It will take a multidisciplinary approach to the sites of the dispersed Shoah and the testimonies of the eyewitnesses to genocide. How to locate and identify a killing site; How to interpret archival documents related to them; How to find eyewitnesses and interview them; What is the relevance of space where an act of witnessing takes place as well as the language and gestures of a witness; How do the bystanders’ testimonies differ from the survivors’ accounts; Can only humans be witnesses; How to use eyewitnesses’ testimonies in transmitting the knowledge about the Shoah to the next generations; How do history (and oral history), sociology, as well as memory, cultural and performative studies help us understand video testimony; How was the Holocaust by bullets possible?

After the workshop, the participants are invited to a lecture by Father Patrick Desbois, the founder of the Yahad – In Unum. The lecture will open the two-day international conference (24–25 September) “Sites of Violence and Their Communities: Critical Memory Studies in the Era of the Post-Human”, featuring, among other guests, Prof. Ewa Domańska, Prof. Caroline Sturdy Colls, Prof. Erica Lehrer and Dr. Bryce Lease.

Applications, consisting of a 1-page CV and a short description (no more than 500 words) of the applicant’s research relevant to the topic of the workshop, should be submitted no later than 15 July 2019 to the address Notifications will be sent via email by 31 July 2019. Any questions regarding the workshop should be directed to the aforementioned email address.

Organizers will provide catering during the workshop as well as accommodation for the night of 23/24 September. In some cases, travel grants may also be secured for the workshop’s participants.

The organizing team are Dr. hab. Roma Sendyka, Aleksandra Szczepan, Dr. Kinga Siewior and Dr. Karina Jarzyńska from the Research Center for Memory Cultures, Michał Chojak from Yahad – In Unum and Dr. Stanley Bill from the Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages of the University of Cambridge.

Deadline for Submissions September 1, 2019

Departures and Arrivals: Women, Mobility and Travel Writing (9/1/2019) Special Issue–Feminismo/s

Feminismo/s, from the Institute of Research in Gender Studies from the University of Alicante, is currently accepting submissions for its 36 issue, entitled “Departures and Arrivals: Women, Mobility and Travel Writing”. This issue seeks to approach women travel writing from a transhistorical and transnational perspective. Thus, we encourage submissions that deal with travelling and mobility in women’s writing from different cultural and national backgrounds and periods.

We are particularly interested in contributions that explore the intersections between gender, mobility and identity, including, but not restricted to the following aspects:


–       Religious or spiritual pilgrimages.

–       Transatlantic and transnational experiences.

–       Exploratory journeys and pioneering experiences.

–       Sea narratives, air narratives, railway experiences and road trip experiences.

–       Travelling in/to/from war zones.

–       Diasporic experiences.

–       Enforced migration and refugee experiences.

–       Uprootedness and in-between identities.

–       Ecocritical approaches to travelling.

–       Tourism and neo-colonial experiences of travelling.

–       Travelling and the cyber-world.

–       Mobility and ableism.

Submitted abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words in length, and should be sent to the issue co-editors by no later than 1 September 2019. Please also include an additional biographical statement, of no more than 100 words, that lists your educational level, current academic affiliation, previous publications and any other details you may feel are pertinent.

Applicants can expect to hear back about their proposals by 1 October 2019. Full articles (9,000 words) will be due by 1 February 2020. Notifications about acceptance or required changes will be provided in July 2020, and final articles will be required on 1 September 2020. Contributors must follow the journal’s editorial guidelines and style.

Should you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact the issue co-editors, Sara Prieto ( and Raquel García-Cuevas (

Feminismo/sis an Open Acces Journal and is indexed in the following databases: Proquest (Gender Watch), DOAJ, REDIB, InDICEs-CSIC, ERIH PLUS, MLA, CIRC, MlAR, Latindex, Dialnet, Ulrich’s, Dulcinea, Google Scholar, SHERPA/RoMEO, RUA, DICE, REBIUN, RESH, OCLC WorldCat, Copac, SUDOC and ZDB/EZB.

Deadline for Submissions September 1, 2019

Jenny Diski: A Celebration

A Symposium, University of Oxford, 7th April 2020

Keynote Speaker: Blake Morrison

Jenny Diski sadly died in 2016, and the time is right for a celebration of her work.

Diski wrote in many genres, from novels and short stories, to memoirs, travel narratives, and books on human-animal relationships and the 1960s. She was also a prolific reviewer, who contributed regularly to the London Review of Books. Diski herself, though, refused to classify her writings: ‘Something about the distinction between being a fiction and a non-fiction writer distresses me’, she declared, ‘So I think of myself as a writer. Period’. And it is as a writer, first and foremost, that Diski is appreciated by her many admirers. No reader of hers can fail to be dazzled by her style, or struck by her formal playfulness and innovation.

Yet, perhaps owing to her refusal to be confined by boundaries, Diski has tended to slip under the radar, or between the gaps, in academic discussions. This symposium seeks to bring her to the fore by recognising that it is precisely her difference from what we might expect that makes her so exciting, and by drawing together the many aspects of her work. How, for instance, does Diski extend our understanding of life writing, autofiction, and travel literature? How does she explore the individual mind and social institutions? Is it right to think of her as a Jewish writer, and how does Jewishness figure in her work? What do we make of her provocative interrogations of gender and sexuality? It is hoped that by addressing questions such as these, with a close attention to literary form, this celebration of her work will help to place Diski where she belongs: as one of the most important writers of our time. Period.

We welcome papers on topics including, but by no means restricted to:

  • Diski as a life writer: autofiction, memoir, autobiography.
  • Diski as a Jewish writer.
  • Illness narratives and the cancer diary.
  • Family relationships.
  • Feminism and women’s writing.
  • Travel and travel literature.
  • London.
  • Formal innovation.
  • Humour.
  • Sexuality and the erotic.
  • Diski as a literary critic and a film critic.
  • Journalism.
  • Diski’s significance as a public intellectual.
  • Psychoanalysis and psychiatry.
  • Human-animal relationships.
  • Diski and her times.
  • Diski’s politics.
  • Diski and postmodernism.

Please submit a short abstract (200-300 words) for a 20 minute paper to Dr Ben Grant ( by 1st September 2019.

Contact Info:

Dr Ben Grant (University of Oxford)


Deadline for Submissions September 30, 2019

Seeking World History Authors for Women Who Changed The World

We are seeking contributors to Women Who Changed the World, to be published by ABC-CLIO. This ambitious, 4-volume reference work will contain essays on approximately 250 women from world history, from ancient times to the twenty-first century, from Bella Abzug to Empress Zauditu. The collection will not only provide biographical profiles of women from all parts of the world, but also will address the contexts in which they overcame obstacles and persevered to change the worlds into which they were born. We welcome proposed contributions from scholars from all world regions and across all career stages, including early career historians and graduate students.

This world history project will explore the variety of gendered experiences and constructed identities on every continent, as well as the impact and influence of individual (and some groups of) women, both positive and negative. The essays will include the significance of individual life experiences (how they “changed” their worlds) and the specific historical and cultural contexts in which each woman lived and struggled. The common format of the entries is meant to be a rough guide, given the global scope of the project, by keeping the contributions open to historical and comparative critical thinking. The writing style should be accessible to the general reader, since the volumes will be marketed to libraries and schools, as well as colleges and universities.

Contributors will receive access to the completed work, in addition to the standard byline as the author. Essays will be peer-reviewed. Deadlines are somewhat negotiable, with the preferred due date prior to September 2019.

For a full list of entries available for assignment or any further questions, we invite you to contact the General Editor:  Dr. Candice Goucher, Please include WWCTW in the subject line and provide your areas of expertise and a brief cv with your inquiry.

Contact Info:

Dr. Candice Goucher

Washington State University

Contact Email:


Deadline for Submissions 9/30/2019

“American Literacy Narratives”

NEMLA, Boston MA, March 5-8, 2020

Panel chair, Dr. Filiz Turhan, Suffolk Community College

Literacy Narratives have been a cornerstone of American life writing since the earliest times of American literary production. From Frederick Douglass’s “learning to read” segment in his Narrative of the Life (1845) to Tara Westover’s Educated (2018), literacy narratives have been linked toself-determination and the pursuit of liberty as the subject of the memoir becomes a Reader.  What is salient in many of these memoirs is the awakening of a particular kind of consciousness in the Reader, one which is painful, shocking and even at times life threatening. When the Reader reads, he or she is not only culturally influenced but also transformed. The Reader enters a new and uncharted territory and this change is at first so powerful and threatening that the subject experiences depression, loss, anger, fear and most especially self-doubt. Both Douglass and Westover describe how becoming a Reader may induce a wish to recuperate the previous state of ignorance. Furthermore, in both case, the Reader risks serious bodily harm from others. When the Reader accesses books, the surrounding power structures (whether those of legal slavery in the 19th century for Douglass or Westover’s experience of domestic violence), literally threaten to murder the Reader as a way to keep him or her from fully transforming into a “free” Reader thus breaking the oppressive structures that had previously controlled them.


This panel invites papers which explore these and related issues in regard to American literacy narratives. Papers may focus on the experiences of immigrant groups, non-native English readers, differently abled learners, and those from a variety of class and socioeconomic perspectives as well as gender and sexual identities. Papers that also explicitly connect to the experience of the presenter as a professional reader and teacher of the humanities are also welcome.

250 word Abstracts may be sent to Dr. Filiz Turhan deadline 9/20/2019

Inquiries may be sent to Filiz at:

Submission page Link:

General conference link:

Deadline for Submissions September 30, 2019

Call for Papers: Sylvia Plath and Disabled Women’s Life-Writing as a Tool of Resistance (9/30/2019; 3/5-8/20120) NeMLA, Boston USA

This panel is part of the Northeast Modern Language Association conference being held in Boston, MA, from March 5-8th, 2020.

Abstract: At the end of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel, the speaker calls for a disabled feminist future, as she has “a self to recover, a queen.” Largely ignored by disability studies scholars, this panel will explore how Sylvia Plath’s works call for a reclaiming of disabled women’s voices and community. From The Bell Jar to Ariel, Plath’s writing has enabled a canon of literary works that describe the workings of patriarchal institutions, such as the asylum, and how these institutions affect disabled women’s bodies. Through writing, Plath has created a space where disabled women are able to own and control their voices and stories, which can be seen in the production of disabled women’s life-writing such as Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted and Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind. This panel seeks presentations that explore the nature of disabled women’s writing and how Plath has enabled a disabled feminist future through her works.

Description: This panel will explore how Sylvia Plath’s works have enabled a disabled feminist future through creating a space where disabled women are invited to write about and control their own narratives. What is the importance of reading Plath’s body of work as a facilitation of disabled women’s life-writing? How can life-writing empower the voices of disabled women?

Please submit a 250-word abstract to Maria Rovito at by September 30th, 2019.

Deadline for Submissions September 30, 2019

Religion and (Proto)Feminism in Early Modern Women’s Lives and Works, 1500-1800  (9/30/2019)

There is a tendency among some contemporary feminists to place religion (especially monotheistic religion) and feminism on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum — as belief systems and sets of practices that contend with and / or threaten each other. Feminist activist Gloria Steinem gave voice to such a perspective in an answer to an interview question about what she wished she had been more responsive to over the years. She professed, “What I should have been more in an uproar about is monotheism and religion…I mean, religion is, too often, politics you’re not supposed to talk about,” though she clarifies she is open to the more “democratic” category of “spirituality.” The “feminist and trade union activist” Cath Elliott is more explicit about her belief that religion is hostile to the feminist cause, “Christianity is and always has been antithetical to women’s freedom and equality, but it’s certainly not alone in this. Whether it’s one of the world’s major faiths or an off-the-wall cult, religion means one thing and one thing only for those women unfortunate enough to get caught up in it: oppression. It’s the patriarchy made manifest, male-dominated, set up by men to protect and perpetuate their power.”

In this interdisciplinary collection, we wish to evaluate, from a historical perspective, the statements made by Steinem and Elliott (among others) on the relationship between religion and (proto) feminism, particularly Elliott’s claim that “Christianity is and always has been antithetical to women’s freedom and equality.” We will accomplish this end by closely analyzing the lives and works of women creating cultural artifacts in Britain and the Americas between 1500 and 1800 — that is between the Renaissance and the inception of the Romantic period. Essays that take into account the intersectionality of women’s identities and works in this historical span are particularly welcome.

In writing their essays, contributors will be expected to pay close attention to the material culture in which women lived and produced a range of works (poetry, plays, prose, drawings, paintings, sculpture, musical compositions, etc.). They will also be asked to draw on the growing body of scholarship on feminism and religion that complicates or troubles (but does not necessarily disprove) the view that feminism and religion are antithetical forces.

300-500-word proposals, along with a CV, should be submitted by e-mail to Dr. Holly Faith Nelson, Professor and Chair of English and Co-Director of the Gender Studies Institute, Trinity Western University, on or before 30 September 2019.

Strong interest in the collection has been expressed by a university press for the series on Early Modern Feminisms.

Deadline for Submissions October 1, 2019

Call for Papers: Emerging Trends in Third-Generation Holocaust Literature

In the past fifty years, a growing body of literature written by the children of Holocaust survivors has emerged, along with scholarship that explores this second-generation literary oeuvre. In its turn, over the last three decades, the writings of grandchildren of survivors have bourgeoned—e.g., Ivan Jablonka’s A History of the Grandparents I Never Had, Noah Lederman’s A World Erased, Jérémie Dres’ We Won’t See Auschwitz. And from Esther Jilovsky et. al.’s In the Shadows of Memory to Alan L. Berger and Asher Z. Milbauer’s “The Burden of Inheritance,” so too has scholarship on these third-generation writings begun to develop. Beginning with Dan Bar-On’s Fear & Hope and most recently with Victoria Aarons and Berger’s Third-Generation Holocaust Representation, various scholarship has probed the contours of third-generation identity/identities broadly defined.

Despite how, as Jilovsky explains in Remembering the Holocaust (2015), “there is a little consensus on [the third-generation’s] collective experience and attributes,” there is also no denying that the Holocaust has impacted a host of members of the third-generation. And though third-generation identity is in no way homogenous, we seek to put together a volume that explores the various ways in which the Holocaust has indeed impacted the grandchildren of survivors; how the legacy of the Holocaust endures in their lives; and how these individuals have shaped and continue to shape how we honor the memory of the Holocaust.

Our collection, Emerging Trends in Third-Generation Holocaust Literature, aims to explore the range of third-generation literary works and films, particularly those written/produced in the past ten years and texts that have received little to no scholarly attention. For the purposes of this volume, literary works refer to poetry, drama, fiction (for adults and children), life writing, graphic narrative, and creative nonfiction. Though it is certainly not requisite, we encourage consideration of the following questions:

  • What are emerging trends in recent third-generation writing/film?
  • Are there any specific phenomena that we can define as distinctly part of a third-generation experience as expressed in third-generation literature/film?
  • How does literature/film explore third-generation identity and how it differs across national boundaries—say, between Israel and Germany or between the U.S. and France?
  • How has the third-generation come to interact with the Holocaust differently than the second-generation?
  • How does third-generation literature/film reveal how the third-generation relates nostalgically to their grandparents’ pre-War lives and Holocaust experiences?
  • Can we understand the third-generation’s relationship to the Holocaust as a form of postmemory, or might it be qualitatively something different?
  • How is the third-generation literature/film carrying forward the legacy of the Holocaust?

Essays should be 6,000–7,000 words. Please submit inquiries to both editors—they will be glad to answer any questions. Please submit essays electronically to both editors by 1 October 2019.

Contact Info:

Alan L. Berger:

Lucas Wilson:

Contact Email:



Deadline for Submissions October 31, 2019

Call for Chapters: From Self-Portrait to Selfie: Contemporary Art and Self-Representation in the Social Media Age (10/31/2019)


MDPI Books is currently running an edition entitled “From Self-Portrait to Selfie: Contemporary Art and Self-Representation in the Social Media Age”. 

Defined as a self-image made with a hand-held mobile device and shared via social media platforms, the selfie has facilitated self-imaging becoming a ubiquitous part of globally networked contemporary life. Beyond this selfies have facilitated a diversity of image making practices and enabled otherwise representationally marginalized constituencies to insert self-representations into visual culture. In the Western European and North American art-historical context, self-portraiture has been somewhat rigidly albeit obliquely defined, and selfies have facilitated a shift regarding who literally holds the power to self-image. Like self-portraits, not all selfies are inherently aesthetically or conceptually rigorous or avant-guard. But, –as this project aims to do address via a variety of interdisciplinary approaches– selfies have irreversibly impacted visual culture, contemporary art, and portraiture in particular. Selfies propose new modes of self-imaging, forward emerging aesthetics and challenge established methods, they prove that as scholars and image-makers it is necessary to adapt and innovate in order to contend with the most current form of self-representation to date. The essays gathered herein will reveal that in our current moment it is necessary and advantageous to consider the merits and interventions of selfies and self-portraiture in an expanded field of self-representations. We invite authors to take interdisciplinary global perspectives, to investigate various sub-genres, aesthetic practices, and lineages in which selfies intervene to enrich the discourse on self-representation in the expanded field today.

Ace Lehner, University of California – Santa Cruz (USA)

The submission deadline is 31.10.2019. You may send your manuscript now or up until the deadline. Submitted papers should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Their acceptance will be subject to our regular peer review processes. To check suitability, we encourage authors to send a short abstract or tentative title in advance to the Editorial Office (

MDPI Books is fully open access. Open access (unlimited and free access by readers) increases publicity and promotes more frequent citations, as indicated by several studies. Open access is supported by the authors and their institutes. No Article Processing Charges (APC) apply for well-prepared manuscripts.

For further details on the submission process, please see the instructions for authors at our website (

Contact Email:

Deadline for Submissions, October 31, 2019

Travel in Arab Women’s Writings and/or Arab Women’s Travel Writings

I am editing a journal volume, of about six articles, on Arab Women’s Travel Writings, or Travel Writings by Arab Women.

I am seeking original  scholarly papers, not previously published, about travel writings by Arab women. I will also consider scholarly papers about travel, or the theme of travel, in Arab Women’s writings.

Please write to me if you have an idea for a paper on this topic.

Thank you.

Contact Info:

Dr. Nawar Al-Hassan Golley

Professor in Literary Theory and Gender and Women’s Studies

American University of Sharjah

Contact Email:

Deadline for Submissions, November 4, 2019

VETERAN IDENTITY, ADVOCACY, AND REPRESENTATION 5th Veterans in Society Conference: (11/4/2019; 3/22-24/20120) St. Louis, USA

contact email:

We invite scholars at all levels—including students and those out of academia—to cross national, cultural, historical, and disciplinary boundaries to reflect on the theme of “Veteran Identity, Advocacy, and Representation.”

We encourage and are open to a variety of presentation styles, including but not limited to:

  • Individual Presentations: 75- to 100-word abstract, 250-word proposal
  • Panel Presentation, with 3 to 4 presenters: 150- to 200-word abstract, 750-word 
proposal including potential panelists
  • Poster Presentations, by individual or collaborative presenters (1 poster per 
submission): 150- to 200-word abstract
  • Roundtable Discussion, with 4 or more presenters: 150- to 200-word abstract, 500- 
word proposal
  • Works-in-Progress: back by popular demand, we have scheduled a workshop session specifically for sharing and refining early-stage research and/or engagement projects with kindred scholars and potential collaborators: 500-word proposal (works-in-progress submissions will not undergo peer review)

All submissions should conform to a widely accepted citation style that will be intelligible to an interdisciplinary audience (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago). Unless otherwise noted (under session type), email proposals must include:

  1. a cover letter providing contact information for the author(s), title, and format of the proposed work,
  2. an abstract attached in a separate file (or sheet of paper).Please respect word counts for abstracts by desired session type. Abstracts must be formatted for blind review: no author names, affiliations, or other personally identifiable information.
  3. Email proposals to

Visit for more details about the conference and the Veterans Studies Association.

Deadline for Submissions, November 15, 2019


After(Life) Narratives of #MeToo

A Special Issue of Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

Guest Editors: Rebecca Wanzo (Washington University in St. Louis) and Carol Stabile (University of Oregon)

Submit: Abstracts of 300–500 words in length by November 15, 2019 to

Stories of sexual violence are shaped and constrained both by the unrepresentable nature of trauma and conventions of medium and genre (Judith Herman 1992; Leigh Gilmore 2001; Saidiya Hartman 2007; Ariella Azoulay 2008). Fictive and real accounts of sexual violence across time and media can also sometimes absorb discourses that decenter or undermine support for survivors and affirm identity-based, nationalist, and conservative discourses (Ida B. Wells 1892; Birth of a Nation; Central Park Five; Sarah Projansky 2001). While personally and politically vital, the politics of recognition that narrating stories of sexual violence enact are complicated by the ways they move across various political projects, locations, and media (S. Smith and K. Schaffer).
The #MeToo movement invites us to rethink the constraints of medium and genre in relationship to disclosures. #MeToo has sought to provide a platform for sharing survivor stories, using the quotidian nature of experiences of sexual violence (from harassment to rape) to force assailants and institutions to reckon with the impact of sexual violence. With limited characters, and in a medium notorious for an alleged lack of nuance, the stories of #MeToo gathered into a powerful collective story that moved beyond the platform, creating perhaps the most massive moment of feminist consciousness-raising since Anita Hill.
This special issue of Biography explores storytelling practices emerging after the the 2017 celebrity re-launch of Tarana Burke’s hashtag #MeToo in 2006, narratives shaped by constraints, but also hinting at possible new genres and disruptions: the elliptical disclosure; the power of the celebrity story and its erasures around race, class, and disability, and other identity categories; the tensions between queer and heteronormative narratives; and the difference national context makes. Most of all, we are interested in contributions that invite us to think about how the medium interacts with these disruptions and the extent to which medium may transform storytelling practices and ways of thinking about sexual violence.

We welcome pieces that engage questions such as:

  • How do fragmented narratives, solidarity narrative practices, generic conventions governed by social movements, legal concerns, silences that have historically been integral to disclosure, and shifts in listening practices change the nature of the story?
  • How do contemporary movements against sexual violence engage with previous traditions of nonfictional representations of sexual violence?
  • What difference do media—and mediation—make in telling and listening to stories of sexual violence—and to who gets to speak and who is heard?
  • Do projects like Aishah Shahidah Simmons’ #loveWITHaccountability challenge conventional wisdom about whose stories about sexual violence can be told alongside each other—both the injured and people who were silent in the face of the injury? How might restorative justice approaches be folded into media storytelling practices?
  • What roles do identities play in the presentation and reception of #MeToo? For example, how have the conventions of queer life narrative storytelling interacted with stories of sexual injury within the community? How have working-class women, like those at the Ford Motor plants in Chicago, been able to share their stories? How should we think about the difference between the kind of #MeToo story invited by Tarana Burke and the stories from predominately white women celebrities that made international headlines?
  • Do narratives of sexual violence linked across people, media, and time disrupt our understanding of single stories of individual injury?
  • How do we map the differences in transnational #MeToo storytelling, with convergences and divergences in #IAmNotAfraidtoSpeak, #BalanceTonPorc, #Cuentalo, #AnaKaman, #YoTambien, #Losha, #MosqueMeToo, or #QuellaVolteChe? Where do we begin to write the history of women’s struggles to form solidarity over histories of sexual violence? What are the challenges and obstacles women face in forging solidarities?
  • How might we historicize this kind of storytelling in relationship to work done either before #MeToo (#MeuAmigoSecreto, #WhyLoiter, et al.) or in the years before Twitter existed, when women used latrinalia and other forms of cultural expression to share the names of rapists and harassers among themselves? How do we place memoirs discussing sexual violence in conversation with these contemporary storytelling practices of disclosure?

We also welcome papers that use multiple media or modes of storytelling to generate new ways of thinking about global movements against sexual violence and their histories of solidarity and resistance. Multi-authored work, interviews, and collaborative projects are welcome.

Please submit 350–500-word abstracts to Rebecca Wanzo and Carol Stabile by November 15, 2019 to Notifications will be sent on December 16, 2019. Articles of up to 10,000 words will be due on June 1, 2020. Biography will arrange for contributors to present papers in workshop format at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Honolulu in August 2020.

Deadline for Submissions, November 29, 2019

Art and Action: Literary Authorship, Politics, and Celebrity Culture (11/29/2019; 3/20-21/2020) Oxford UK
The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH)
Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road, Oxford

Writers and writers’ organisations have a long history of using their public standing and cultural capital to promote causes that transcend the literary sphere, from abolition and gender equality to free expression, anti-war agitation, and environmental issues. This two-day conference explores the intersections of authorship, politics, activism, and literary celebrity across historical periods, literatures, and media. It examines the forms and impact of authorial field migrations between literature and politics and the ways in which they are situated within, and shaped by, structural frameworks that include academic institutions, prize-giving bodies, publishing industries, and literary celebrity culture.

Authors have at all times been fiercely outspoken campaigners for a wide range of socio-political causes. At the same time, debates have long revolved around literature as a form of political intervention in its own right, thus undermining the seemingly clear-cut distinction between politics and poetics. This conference hopes to foster such debates and address a wide range of questions: What are the strategies employed by writers in the construction and performance of their public personae as political office-holders, activists, and cultural critics? How do they negotiate the tension between ethics and aesthetics in their public interventions, the potential conflict between authorial and activist selves? How have writers’ literary/political border-crossings been perceived by their audiences and to what extent have they affected their (posthumous) reputations? What are the risks faced by the politically engaged and outspoken writer?
Interrogating the ideological dimension of literary celebrity and highlighting the fault-lines between public and private authorial selves, ‘pure’ art, political commitment, and marketplace imperatives, this conference joins current debates on authorship and literary value. It brings together writers, academics, literary activists, and industry stakeholders to explore the wider implications of authors’ political responsibilities and cultural authority in today’s heavily commodified literary marketplace and age of celebrity activism.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

·       Authors as political office-holders / activists / public intellectuals: forms, manifestations, agendas, challenges of, and responses to, literary/political ‘double acts’ across historical periods, literatures, and cultural contexts
·       Literary celebrity and identity politics: how are the intersections of literary celebrity and politics inflected by categories such as gender, class, and ethnicity? To what extent do they map onto different national and cultural spaces?
·      Writers’ organisations, cultural institutions, and their political agendas: how do writers’ organisations capitalise on the celebrity status of particular writers and what are the potential pitfalls of this practice? What is the relationship between individual and collective agency?
·     The politics of market activism: what is the role of industry stakeholders (e.g. publishers, agents, translators, literary festivals, etc.) in enabling or inhibiting authorial migrations between literature and politics?
·      Literary prizes and politics: literary prizes as cultural consecrating agencies; literary award ceremonies as platforms for political intervention; (celebrity) prize judges as gatekeepers; the impact of literary awards on the cultural capital of winning and shortlisted authors
·   Authors’ political interventions and the media: the impact of transformations in media cultures, industries, and technologies (e.g. digital media) on the articulation and dissemination of critical stances and ideas within the public sphere
·      Literary celebrity, politics, and life-writing: How is the interplay of literary celebrity and politics negotiated and articulated across different life-writing genres? In which ways does the genre (e.g. memoirs, lectures, interviews, broadcasts, social media posts) shape these interrelations and the construction of authorial personae?
·    Authorship and political responsibility: What is the author’s political responsibility and cultural authority in today’s celebrity-driven media society? Is there a need for writers to step outside the literary medium? How do they reconcile their activities with a view of literature as political intervention in its own right?

Keynote contributions:
–        Benjamin Zephaniah (performance poet, activist, Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing, Brunel University London)
–        Antjie Krog (writer and scholar activist, TORCH International Fellow)
–    PEN roundtable discussion with Jennifer Clement (PEN International President), Carles Torner (PEN International Executive Director), Margie Orford (former South African PEN President), Rachel Potter (University of East Anglia), Peter McDonald (University of Oxford)

Please send your proposal (no more than 250 words) for 20-minute papers along with a short biographical note to by 29 November 2019; applicants will be notified by 20 December 2019.
Selected contributions will be considered for inclusion in a peer-reviewed collection or special journal issue.
For more information, and to register, please follow this link:
This conference is convened by Sandra Mayer (University of Vienna / Oxford Centre for Life-Writing) and Ruth Scobie (Mansfield College, Oxford) and supported by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) in collaboration with the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW).

Deadline for Submissions, December 1, 2019

Call for Papers: “Mapping Black Women’s Lives”
Special Issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies
36.2 Spring 2021 Deadline: December 1, 2019
For this special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, we seek papers that employ diverse and/or interdisciplinary methodologies to recover and situate (geographically and theoretically) Black female lives throughout the African diaspora. How do we write with and against archival silences and violences? What role does digitization play in making visible or further marginalizing Black women’s life writing? We are particularly interested in scholarly efforts that redefine, transform, or reform the spaces and places in which Black women’s cultural contributions were recorded (or not). Where and how do we map the lives of Black women? Topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Cartography, maps, mapping, and journeys in Black women’s life narrative
  • Forced displacements
  • Dangerous moves
  • Middle passages as trans-historical consciousness
  • Relationships between faith systems, movement and racialized geographies
  • Examining Diaspora through Life Writing
  • Travel to and through archives
  • How geography shapes who and what we recover
  • Global perspectives on mapping Black women’s lives
  • Methodologies for locating and mapping Black women’s lives
  • Pedagogical approaches to mapping Black women’s lives and/or reading journeys in Black women’s life narratives
  • Autotheoretical approaches to mapping and/or studying Black women’s lives in transit

Send original articles of 6000-7000 words (including works cited and notes), including keywords, an abstract, and a brief biographical statement to Kimberly Blockett ( We welcome essays that include images and are able to print in color without author fees. a/b also publishes ancillary digital and multimedia texts on the journal’s Routledge website. Inquiries welcome.
All essays must follow the format of Chicago Manuel of Style (17th edition). Essays submitted for the special issue, but not selected, may be considered general submissions and may be selected for publication. In order to ensure a confidential peer review, remove any identifying information, including citations that refer to you as the author in the first person. Cite previous publications, etc. with your last name to preserve your anonymity in the reading process. Include your name, address, email, the title of your essay, and your affiliation in a cover letter or cover sheet for your essay. It is the author’s responsibility to secure any necessary copyright permissions and essays may not progress into the publication stage without written proof of right to reprint. Images with captions must be submitted in a separate file as 300 dpi (or higher) tiff files with captions. Please indicate placement of images in the text.
Guest Editor, Kimberly Blockett, Associate Professor of English at Penn State Brandywine, is a C19 literary historian. She uses archives and cultural geography to examine black female movement and subjectivity. Blockett’s publications include MELUS, Legacy, MLA Approaches to Teaching Hurston, and the Cambridge History of African American Literature. The archival work for her forthcoming monograph and annotated edition of Zilpha Elaw’s Memoirs was funded by fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Smithsonian, NEH, and Harvard Divinity School.

Deadline for Submissions, December 15, 2019

Call for Book Proposals for the Real Lives in Global Perspective Series

Call for book proposals for the series, Real Lives in Global Perspective. Published by Routledge, the purpose of this series is to teach key social, economic, political, and cultural developments in world history to first year university students using parallel biographies as a framework. The books will juxtapose figures facing similar situations in different geographical regions, with one book for each century, each containing four pairs of biographies. The authors should be experts in the appropriate time period willing to research a variety of geographic areas.

Deadline: December 15

Contact Info:

Rebecca Boone

Lamar University

Contact Email: